Tag Archive | Creativity

Future of Service Design – does it exist?

Ever thought about this? Is service design just one ism, which comes like a wave: First small, getting strong and then fading away. When reaching the end of its existing curve, the ism is so worn out that no-one even wants to hear the words “service design”.

PaneeliAalto University Executive Education arranged on the 1st of June 2017, on International Service Design Day, networking event around this very interesting theme. Speakers and panelists who game from different backgrounds looked at the topic in a versatile and detailed way. They represented front line service design expertise: Peter Barkman, Managing Director from Palmu Helsinki, Laura Franck, Client Service Director from Hellon, Ulla Jones, Business Designer from OP Financial Group and Pekka Toivonen, CEO of Muotohiomo. Next I will raise some points from the discussion to give some thoughts to this important heading.

Transformation is the point

Service design have to grow from project oriented way of doing to be way of thinking that leads to cultural change and transformation in organization. “Human” and “experience” should be taken as a part of business plan in the organization. The experts see that service design as a concepts and the term might disappear. The content itself becomes an everyday part of organizational approaches and practices. Whatever the term that is used, important is to make measurable changes with goal of creating better experiences and focus on customer.

All in – heterogeneously

Service design has changed the whole design doing. Design is done by co-creating with customers, not alone in a studio. Important in the future is to do together. Create ideas that can be shared. Create feeling of belonging. There is no individual nor group that cannot co-create. Heterogeneous people are needed in design. People with different backgrounds are an asset. Service design wants T-shaped people, who have deep skills in one discipline and broad ability to work outside core area.

More broadly – more deeply

There was also discussion that should service design know how be civic, which is already learned at school. On the other hand experts pointed out that customer understanding will be more professional in the future. Designers should keep themselves at the top of the wave in their ability to answer the needs of changing business environment. One problem that was raised was about in-house design agencies. At the moment large companies have too small design units. There is not enough impact and results remain low. IT-firms have recently bought service design agencies. This raised a question: Is there need for agencies specialized only in design in the future? Maybe maybe not.

Digitalization needs empathy and creativity

In the midst of a strong change due digitalization, human might be forgotten. Empathy skills is needed more than ever. The approach of service design may even be a necessity for organizations to survive in a changing environment. One expert pointed out that “Machine won human in chess, but machine and human won machine in chess.” Ability to communicate separates us from the machine. Human is at his best in creative processes.

Selling and buying skills are crucial

The lack of skills of selling service design to organization and management is huge problem at the moment. Problem is also that service design is hard to buy, people inside the organization do not have service design inquiry skills.  These might be the dead or alive –issues for service design.

New tools and skills are needed

Experts agreed that service design to survive, new service design tools have to be created. Tools that are inspirational and get the whole organization to realize the ongoing change.  To accept vagueness is a necessity in the whole design process. Skills to empty one’s mind, skills to concentrate on the essential even if world around is a mess, is huge asset in the future. Designer with big ears and open mind are wanted. Methods for empathy and listening are needed.

To concentrate on what happened yesterday or what is happening today is not enough. Equipment for futures thinking and foresight is needed. In the future quantitative and qualitative customer understanding are melting together. Qualitative know-how and technology together are the strongest forces for change. In the future artificial intelligence will help a lot in customer understanding. To find customer needs, customer’s own data “My data” will be utilized. Gaming is used as a method for participating and storytelling.  Service design will be more fun, human and creative.

The future exists for service design

As a conclusion, service design as a content will exists in the future. Experts agreed that need for design is endless, challenge is there all the time. There will be evolution in service design doing followed by changes in business environment and due to embedding service design in everyday practice.  Also new tools and broad range of design makers are needed. In the future service design will be heart partner with quantitative methods and technology.

#Generate, #dream, #take risks, #inspire

Design Thinking offers a variety of new ways to accelerate the creative process. During the first contact session at the SID program we were immersed in the world of Design Thinking with an intense two-day workshop held by guest lecturers Katja Tschimmel and Mariana Valença.

BRAINSTORMING is a widely spread idea generation tool that can be extremely effective when conducted appropriately. As explained in Katja’s article Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation, brainstorming is a participatory idea generation session, which is done without discussing the ideas or thinking them through to the end. The main goal is to generate a myriad of ideas in a short period of time, being emotions and intuition more important that rational thinking.

The process

Team members start generating new ideas in complete SILENCE. Each of the members write down their ideas on post-it notes and sticks them on the wall (see Fig. 1). After a while, participants start elaborating on the other ideas. The goal is that an idea of one participant can be a source of inspiration for another. Brainstorming is a good technique to generate ideas that the whole group feels ownership of.

Brainstorming session SID

Fig. 1 Brainstorming session during the DT workshop

While reading the book The Innovation Expedition I was introduced to the spiritual father of the brainstorming technique, the American Alex Osborn. From him I learned two essential rules when brainstorming – ‘Defer your judgment’ and ‘go for quantity’. The underlying assumption of brainstorming is that people are scared of saying something wrong.

Continue reading

My Minds Boggling with Design Thinking!

Last spring I received a letter from Laurea University of Applied Sciences, I was accepted to study Master degree of Hospitality Management, service design. I was thrilled! I have been looking for such an education where I can exploit my past as an Artist and professional of Horeca. First semester started with Design thinking, lead by Katja Tschimmel and Mariana Valenca from Portugal. What a great topic to start  this creative study of services. I had not heard of Design Thinking before. I was very excited and looking forward to hearing more.

What is Design Thinking?

Tschimmel introduced Design Thinking to us via a model called E6.
This process model has six “E”s – each process space starts with letter E.

Emergence
Empathy
Experimentation
Elaboration
Exposition
Extension

This model can be used under several contexts such as trainings, courses and coaching.

e6

“E.6, because in Portuguese and in English, the division into 6 process spaces, which we consider the most appropriate ones, start with an ‘E’: Emergencia (Emergence), Empatia (Empathy), Experimentação (Experimentation), Elaboração (Elaboration), Exposição (Exposition) and Extensão (Extension). Since there are moments of Exploration (divergence) and Entering (convergence) in every phase of the model, we call the model E.6 elevated 2.” – Katja Tschimmel The graphic solution of this version of the model was developed by the Design Atelier Nunes e Pã.

Design Thinking is observation and research. Companies may benefit from designers of their way of thinking and working. Design Thinking offers new tools to develop organizations and their services. It is a very effective toolkit for any kind of innovation process. As a great example of this innovative thinking and creative confidence gives David Kelley on his speech of “How to build your creative confidence”. He shows in his lecture example of children´s hospital´s scanner and how they re-design such a fearful experience as being scanned to an exciting adventure. Designer creates a story of a pirate ship when going to be scanned. Scanning becomes exiting adventure! This is an excellent example on how to bring creativity to life by using people involved in the service. In this particular case children wanted to come back again tomorrow – for a new trip!

Continue reading

The Inspirational New Children’s Hospital 2017

I am glad to have participated in The Service Day 2015 on the 18th of March. As a new student in the field of service design and innovation it really made me open my eyes to how much service design has already spread into the health sector. I saw a lot of commonalities in the projects, which were presented. All of these projects included a great holistic view of the all the parts tied with the service and even better, an innovative fresh way of organizing them in a new customer centric and efficient way. This holistic view of customer insight was a part of all of the projects.

What impressed me was how these projects really had people believing in them. In their minds there was little space for pessimism, a bit of sanity and a huge believe in the idea and a great deal of professionalism. What comes out when all these talented people with a different background are put in the same room, are these incredible service design projects.

People need other people, and what all these projects had in common was an impressive amount of collaboration. Good service design is creating together. This is where I emphasize the word co-creation! The best sand castles are built with many hands and ideas.


Children have the best imagination together, so why not adults? One raising castle is the new pediatric hospital, which has been largely discussed in the media and a lot of debate (e.g. 1a, 1b) has been going on about the funding of the project, which hasn’t followed the traditional norms of building public buildings. A foundation for building a new children’s public hospital was founded in 2012 and the hospital is going to be ready in 2017.

logo-2

Anne Berner presenting the  Children's Hospital 2017 project

Anne Berner presenting the Children’s Hospital 2017 project

Anne Berner had the first presentation in the Service Day 2015. As her presentation really impressed me, this blog post is devoted to her project. Among many other duties Anne Berner is the Chairman of the board of the Association and Foundation New Children’s hospital 2017. She pointed out that in the beginning of the project it wasn’t known who owns the project and who is in charge of it. She says that this was not easy as it wasn’t clear if it is the county of Helsinki or the state paying the bill. The solution was an open fundraising campaign, so that everyone anywhere could partake in the project. But … especially the media and part of the Finnish public seemed to think this was wrong. Happily not everyone. The funding is based on donations which some people think is begging.

The way Anne Berner talked during the Service Day made me believe that this project is in the right hands. She has a humble and an iterative attitude towards the project which characterizes a good service design. She is very well aware of the critics and sees even the negative discussion around the hospital as positive. She takes critique in a constructive and strengthening way, which is necessary in service design. She also says that the more there is discussion, the more important the campaign becomes. According to her, best innovations are built only with criticism. Myself, I think this project is revolutionary and shakes the traditional thoughts of service into a new service design way of thinking. She pointed out that there has always been a lot of community effort in Finland, especially during and after the wars. Hospitals have been built using fundraisers before, so why should it be different now?

Continue reading

Experiences from the Global Service Jam Helsinki 2015

10393857_741350965951185_8017900955231328757_nGlobal Service Jam is a yearly event enabling anyone interested in service design and design thinking to co-create, experiment and develop new solutions inspired by a shared theme.  This year, the Jam was arranged in 100 cities during the weekend of February 27th – March 1st all around the world.

In the Jam, the participants will go through the entire service design process in one weekend, gathering customer insight, creating new service concepts in interdisciplinary teams, building prototypes and testing the new concepts with real customers.

For me it was the first time I have ever participated in the Global Service Jam. I had high expectations and have to say that my expectations were exceeded. The Jam is an absolutely fantastic event to learn about service design, customer oriented service development, creative methods, concept development along with meeting new people and getting new friends. It is a 48 hour journey, focusing on “doing and not talking”, creating solutions based on real customer needs – and having a lot of fun!  The following video will provide a glimpse of what the Global Service is all about and revealing what the shared theme for 2015 Jam was.

During the Jam we also had inspiring presentations by Jani Turku from IMPROVement and Anton Schubert, the Head of Design at Futurice. The key message from Jani Turku was that creating new services requires you to allow yourself to play, be human, listen, say “yes, and…” instead of “no, but…”, dare to try new things and to be open-minded.

Anton Schubert talked about the importance of prototyping and how everything can actually be tested. It is just the matter of using the right tools and methods. Prototyping is about learning, failing safely and inexpensively, i.e. failing often to succeed sooner, as stated by David Kelley, the founder of IDEO.

Continue reading

A Crash Course on Creativity!

Where do ideas come from?

Creativity is looked at as the engine to bring ideas, but also most of us think creativity is an epiphany, where some will get it, while others will not!

What if I told that creativity is something that every one of us can learn, its only a matter to understanding its underlying framework and how to unlock it.

Creativity is more than imagination!

How can we understand creativity as persons and how can we enable it in the world we live in? This is the topic of this fascinating course provided by Tina Seelig the Stanford professor, who has spent the last 13 years or so looking for the answer to the question, how we can unlock creativity?

Most of the efforts in the course where in the psychical group sessions (+videos) as we have formulated as team of 5 from the same location to carry on the assignments. The team was called Alien Team, just in case we pumped in the name below 🙂

5 + 5 = ?

Can you solve this equations? The answer may be obvious as we learned in school that there is only one right answer to this problem, but what if we looked at the equation in this way (? + ? = 10)! Suddenly we have infinite numbers of answers that we can suggest!

What happen is that we have changed our perspective of the problem and this helped spared our imagination.

Click on the image to watch the video!

Click on the image to watch the video!

The innovation engine

Continue reading

Innovating mind should be like a parachute

New innovations are launched by companies worldwide almost daily. I have been wondering how many new innovations in design has for e.g. toothbrush evolved. What customers need is what customers get. However you can’t just ask them for what kind of toothbrush they would like to have, because they don’t know. Of course companies need to listen to their customers, but like Steve Jobs has said that it is hard to customers to tell what kind of products they would want Apple to produce because they have never seen anything remotely like it. When launching new products or service the timing is vital. Like Steve Jobs once has said also “you can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new”. That’s why innovation should be foreseeing the future, while observing customers habits and needs and how they are evolving.

 Very often companies start creating their new product or service when competitors are launching their own ones. Many times innovations facilitators are taking short-cuts in innovation process because they are anxious to come up with solutions for problems or to come up with new business plan. Hurrying kills innovative mind I think. You can’t force out new ideas. Coming up with new ideas for innovation takes sometimes time, but proper facilitation setting and methods can improve people’s ability to think creative way and yield out new ideas.

New ideas, fuel for innovation

I have been in many work-related innovative and idea generation session where manager don’t let the participants freely raise idea but instantly comments that the idea raised is non-feasible. What happens? Ideation is stopped for moment and further ideas are raised more self-critical monitoring. Quantity rules over quality when ideating. Why? Because ideas that are raised no matter how crazy they are they acts as a inhibitors to other ideas. This is why in innovation process proper mind-set is vital; mind should work like parachute, it functions only when open. When your mind is open for new ideas you are letting old ones go. 

 If you have a problem there is always a solution

Continue reading